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Author Topic: Modern Photography  (Read 10078 times)
mediumcool
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« on: November 05, 2011, 10:21:31 AM »
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I donít mean the late and lamented magazine, but how the profession (pretentious?) is practised these days.

Pies at Petapixel.



I would prefer that the red and the green were at least equal. Amusing nonetheless.
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mediumcool
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2011, 10:42:59 AM »
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Maybe they didnít have enough colours for eating, sleeping, and Ö
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2011, 10:43:46 AM »
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I spend less than 12% of my week actually shooting. Ideally it would be around 40%.
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mediumcool
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2011, 11:04:29 AM »
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I spend less than 12% of my week actually shooting. Ideally it would be around 40%.

I reckon 25 Ė 30% would be great, but 20% or less would be the real world. I spend more time in Capture One and Photoshop. Need speed!
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EgillBjarki
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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2011, 07:48:43 AM »
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Thanks for sharing, very interesting! I guess the more you are able to shoot (in %), the more money you have to pay other people do the post processing and all the other stuff for you.
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mediumcool
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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2011, 08:07:35 AM »
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Thanks for sharing, very interesting! I guess the more you are able to shoot (in %), the more money you have to pay other people do the post processing and all the other stuff for you.

Yes, thereís definitely a balancing act if there is a lot of shooting going on: I remember being in awe as a young photographer hearing that a number of famous photogs had others always do their developing and printing, HCB for one.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2011, 08:44:33 AM »
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Maybe they didnít have enough colours for eating, sleeping, and Ö
Real Photographers aren't supposed to waste time eating or sleeping or ...
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2011, 01:07:15 PM »
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The dreamt ideal would be the opposite.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2011, 01:43:39 PM »
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So incredibly true!
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mediumcool
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2011, 09:17:10 AM »
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Real Photographers aren't supposed to waste time eating or sleeping or ...

The ellipsis was there to indicate elision of a rude word!
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mmurph
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2011, 10:27:57 AM »
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Yeah, and that is the problem with an "hourly rate"!

If you shoot 12% of the time, and charge for that time, each hour = 1/8 of the total workload.

So 1 hours shooting at $80/hour = 8 hours work at $10 hour.  Subtract capital (equipment) and overhead (lights, gas), here we are back at the minimum wage of $7.85 US.   

So the customer can scream "You want $160 effing bucks an hour! You are crazy!"   Tongue

And maybe at that rate you make $15 an hour net, or $30,000 a year.  Which is average pay for the lowest paid profession, a Social Worker, straight out of college. Angry

Then you break a Profoto flash tube that costs $500 and you don't eat that week.  Thanks for the chart! 

Michael
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Rob C
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2011, 11:10:01 AM »
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When I was young, my second studio was built alongside the house, the original one having been 'let go' when studio work dried up. Naturally, within some months of that decision it came back again... so, we built. As a result, the kids were used to seeing Nikons and 'blads lying around the place in manner most casual, though in reality, I was hoping to interest them in the gentle art. Clearly and thankfully, they were a damned sight smarter than I, and hardly spared the stuff a glance.

Today, it would have been one more thing on my conscience.

In truth, not a lot has changed other than the competition is even greater in numbers if not quality. In the early 80s a friend of mine whose son had just graduated from university took the lad to a career specialist for advice when he showed an interest in photography. (This was a wealthy family; the father could have floated the whole thing.) According to the specialist (in London - family lived in Spain), the prognosis was not good: he told the lad that there were possibly a dozen guys in Britain making really big money out of the business. The young chap took up PR instead.

As I wrote on another thread, you have to love photography and making images if you push it hard enough to really do it as career.

Rob C
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mmurph
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2011, 11:47:54 AM »
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As I wrote on another thread, you have to love photography and making images if you push it hard enough to really do it as career.

I have my social security (official tax record) income statements from my 20's, after I graduated from college.  

With my dual majors in Photography and Philosophy, and by combinging my two lucrative careers of "Photography" and "Bicycle Racing", I was just rolling in the dough.  I made $5,000 US one year, $9,000 US the next (in 1990 dollars.)   Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

Of course, that doesn't count the "primes" - $50 prizes - that I would have to sprint for in bike races to earn enough gas money to get home from the race ...  

I had a $1,500 bike in the trunk of a $500 car, with a spare tire in the back seat (good camoflage.)  I've never been as happy though in my life.  Plus I could make women blush just by unbuttoning my shirt, that was fun! (I was working out 4-6 hours a day.)   Grin

After I busted up my body enough that I couldn't race any more, I went and got an MBA with a focus in IT.  I did a digital imaging system in 1991, fresh out of school, and made $45,000 that first year.  A little more lucrative.

All those crashes cought up to me though.  In 2007 I was offered an ad shoot by the Director of Photography and Archives at Ford (forget his exact title.)  

I couldn't do it - too many pain pills, I couldn't work without taking massive doses, plus my memory, cognition, and body were shot (I couldn't sleep with the pain, which fried my brain,etc.) I closed my studio and gave it up - just doing headshots caused too much pain to be worth it ......

Ah well.  No regrets.  

I just got an e-mail from the Innocence Project in the US.  An innocent man just got out of jail after 27 years -  after DNA evidence proved that he was innocent ... That covers the whole time period above. At least we had choices!  

Cheers. Life is good!   Wink


Today, we are thrilled to announce the exoneration of Innocence Project client Thomas Haynesworth. The Virginia Court of Appeals issued a Writ of Actual Innocence in his case this morning, ending Mr. Haynesworth's long ordeal. Wrongfully convicted of three Richmond-area crimes in 1984, Mr. Haynesworth served nearly 27 years in prison and over eight months as a registered sex offender.      

 
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 11:51:13 AM by mmurph » Logged
mediumcool
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2011, 05:44:54 PM »
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Yeah, and that is the problem with an "hourly rate"!

If you shoot 12% of the time, and charge for that time, each hour = 1/8 of the total workload.

So 1 hours shooting at $80/hour = 8 hours work at $10 hour.  Subtract capital (equipment) and overhead (lights, gas), here we are back at the minimum wage of $7.85 US.   

So the customer can scream "You want $160 effing bucks an hour! You are crazy!"   Tongue

And maybe at that rate you make $15 an hour net, or $30,000 a year.  Which is average pay for the lowest paid profession, a Social Worker, straight out of college. Angry

Then you break a Profoto flash tube that costs $500 and you don't eat that week.  Thanks for the chart! 

Michael

I got up to $130/hour about 15 years ago, but itís been down, down ever since; backyarders (what we call íem here in Australia) have ruined the market except for the top-end. I do print design as well, so this often supplements the same job.
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mmurph
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2011, 07:51:58 PM »
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backyarders (what we call íem here in Australia) have ruined the market except for the top-end. I do print design as well, so this often supplements the same job.

Yeah, this industry is an effing mess!

How is anyone supposed to make a living or get by, to ever get to the higher end today?  There is no low end where you can learn, no career path where you can do portyraits or headshots and eat and make a little income while they are learning, etc. 

I don't see the future, as Rob C. said about his kids. 

I balanced making images with working on digital imaging systems.  It was a good "synthesis", because I kept hands-on with systems that I could never afford on my own.  Million $$ plus scanners and servers in 1991, etc. 

I bid both the consulting and photo on a project basis, with negotiated deliverables and timing. So that removed the "per hour" question for the most part.  Averaged $60 an hour as a working number, but that was for 2,000 hours a year, not 12% of that time!  (40 hours x 50 weeks) Wow. But I guess most people are able to bill the lab/computer time, so that brings it up to about 1/3 of the time.

Liscensing, rights, all of that is a hard concept to sell nowadays!  Everyone thins you are more like the lawn guy, not even up to plumber rates!   Huh

The models here call the low lifes "GWC" - "guy with camera" - or PWC - "pervert with camera", so that may be a good overall name!   Grin Grin
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mediumcool
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2011, 10:51:26 PM »
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I balanced making images with working on digital imaging systems.  It was a good "synthesis", because I kept hands-on with systems that I could never afford on my own.  Million $$ plus scanners and servers in 1991, etc. 

For some time I worked as a Mac consultant and was an Authorised Apple Reseller for the graphics/DTP market, so like you got to work with stuff I couldnít afford! This in addition to photography, print design, and for a while web design (but that field is even worse than photography!).

Liscensing, rights, all of that is a hard concept to sell nowadays!  Everyone thins you are more like the lawn guy, not even up to plumber rates!   Huh

Licensing has never been big in Oz, unlike the US; clients have long expected to own all rights.

The models here call the low lifes "GWC" - "guy with camera" - or PWC - "pervert with camera", so that may be a good overall name!   Grin Grin

Love it!  Grin
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mediumcool
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« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2011, 02:49:02 AM »
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Probably due to what photographers are charging them for and talking to them about, more than anything else.

True. One point is that Australia is a small market (not long ago the population was less than 20m) and the opportunity to sell on was not particularly feasible until (1) the internet (2) affordable scanning and (3) direct digital imaging all made it easier to shove images around. But the die had been cast, and these factors allowed more *weekend warrior* entrants anyway.

I know photogs shooting weddings/portraits who would not have done so a while back.
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Rob C
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« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2011, 07:38:50 AM »
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True. One point is that Australia is a small market (not long ago the population was less than 20m) and the opportunity to sell on was not particularly feasible until (1) the internet (2) affordable scanning and (3) direct digital imaging all made it easier to shove images around. But the die had been cast, and these factors allowed more *weekend warrior* entrants anyway.

I know photogs shooting weddings/portraits who would not have done so a while back.


I understand.

When I started out on my own, I did anything to keep the doors open. After several months of misadventure with people who ran away with proofs, didn't turn up, etc. I had my moment of epiphany on a miserable set of wet church steps on a gloomy Glaswegian afternoon: I was awaiting the arrival of a 'bride' when I had this vision of David Bailey driving past in his Rolls, slowing down and smiling at me. It was the last wedding I did. I swore to myself I'd do nothing but try for the fashion that I craved and, that failing, I'd go back into engineering and forget the whole sorry business. It was the best revelation I've ever had.

In a nutshell, do what your heart desires or just get the hell out and do another thing entirely; don't tease and torment yourself with shit. If, indeed, that's how you view that work, which others patently do not and make much moolah from it. Then, as they say in Yorkshire (I take this on trust) where there's muck there's money.

Rob C
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mediumcool
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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2011, 08:25:23 AM »
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When I started out on my own, I did anything to keep the doors open. After several months of misadventure with people who ran away with proofs, didn't turn up, etc. I had my moment of epiphany on a miserable set of wet church steps on a gloomy Glaswegian afternoon: I was awaiting the arrival of a 'bride' when I had this vision of David Bailey driving past in his Rolls, slowing down and smiling at me. It was the last wedding I did.

Was the *trouble and strife* in the Roller? Wink

I swore to myself I'd do nothing but try for the fashion that I craved and, that failing, I'd go back into engineering and forget the whole sorry business. It was the best revelation I've ever had.
In a nutshell, do what your heart desires or just get the hell out and do another thing entirely; don't tease and torment yourself with shit. If, indeed, that's how you view that work, which others patently do not and make much moolah from it. Then, as they say in Yorkshire (I take this on trust) where there's muck there's money.

Truer words etc. Some people do well with weddings and portraits, and good luck to them.

Given the vagaries of self-employment (and I started in the í70s), if you donít like what you are doing, you will burn out while not producing the best work. My biggest weakness was accepting commercial jobs from people I didnít like on first meeting; relations took a turn for the worse when poor communication, arrogance and stupidity became evident over time (note to self: be careful dealing with a business run by second-generation family). Two lawsuits over 30 years is not too bad, though!

I am nearing 60, and look like qualifying for an early pension; this will help me to work on projects I have been interested in for many years where the returns may be glory, or a trickle of cashflow. Letís see.
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Rob C
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« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2011, 01:33:44 PM »
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Was the *trouble and strife* in the Roller? Wink


No, but the 'box of pinups' probably was. ;-)

 

Given the vagaries of self-employment (and I started in the í70s), if you donít like what you are doing, you will burn out while not producing the best work. My biggest weakness was accepting commercial jobs from people I didnít like on first meeting; relations took a turn for the worse when poor communication, arrogance and stupidity became evident over time (note to self: be careful dealing with a business run by second-generation family). Two lawsuits over 30 years is not too bad, though!



My own tragic experience, too. Happened with my second-biggest regular calendar when the marketing director, for whom I had great personal respect, handed the gig over to his PR man. Turned into my final shoot for them... My ego, the PR's ignorance and my loss. If I could but turn back the clock... I'd have a 9mm in my pocket for client-aimed use only. But then, as you age you realise that everything has to change, clients included. But at the time you don't feel so cool and detached about it...

Rob C
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